Exercise and health
Many people exercise for one reason or another. Some understand the importance of exercise to health and so they do it voluntary and on a regular basis. Others do it to look good. Even if this is the case, there are health benefits also. Others are forced to exercise involuntary on the recommendation of their physicians to lose weight or to reduce their risk of chronic diseases.
There are also those who are doing physical therapy/exercise as a way of recuperating after a major illness or surgery. Exercise is very important to health.
Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases, like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular (heart) disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits.
Most importantly, regular physical activity can improve your quality of life. A minimum of 30 minutes a day can allow you to enjoy these benefits. Exercise does not mean that you have to go to the gym. You can exercise in the comfort of your own home. With the widespread use of social media and mobile devices, you can even get remote coaching and advice.
The benefits of exercise are numerous. Regular physical exercise help to reduce your risk of a heart attack. Exercise is also a way to manage your weight better, along with diet. Diet alone would not work nor will exercise alone. However, a combination of both diet and exercise works best.
Exercise can also help to lower blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some types of cancers. It can help in regulating lower blood pressure. In fact, the lack of exercise and inactivity is one of the main risk factors for a number of non-communicable diseases.
Apart from decreasing disease risk it builds stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower risk of developing osteoporosis and lower your risk of falls, especially in older persons.
Exercise also helps you to recover better from periods of hospitalisation or bed rest, especially after major surgery, where one has to be confined to bed for a while.
Overall, you with exercise you feel better will have more energy, better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better.
Dr. Rosmond Adams, MD is a medical doctor and a public health specialist with training in bioethics and ethical issues in medicine, the life sciences and research. He is a lecturer of medical ethics.
He is the Head of Health Information, Communicable Disease and Emergency Response at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). He is also a member of the World Health Organization Global Coordination Mechanism on the Prevention and Control of NCDs.
(The views expressed here are not written on behalf of CARPHA nor the WHO). You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org